While NVIDIA still holds a tenuous grip on the highest
end offerings, with its GeForce GTX 280 GPU, this might soon slip,
depending on the performance of AMD's dual processor 4870 X2 (R700) card,
likely coming in Q3 2008. Meanwhile, NVIDIA faces challenges
from Intel in its low-end and laptop graphics offerings, and from AMD's
PUMA chipset/graphics package in the laptop market.
The economic repercussions
of NVIDIA's slippage are already visible. NVIDIA announced yesterday
that it was going to turn in revenue of $875 million to $950 million for Q2
2008, which ends July 27. This is significantly
lower than the current analyst expectations of $1.1 billion.
That was not the end of the bad news from NVIDIA either. It announced
that it was facing a massive recall, due to overheating GPUs in notebook
computers. NVIDIA reported higher than average failures in both the
laptop GPUs and in laptop chipsets.
NVIDIA said that the chips and their packaging were made with materials that
proved to be too "weak". NVIDIA passes the blame to notebook
manufacturers, which it says contributes to the problem. Typically
notebooks have poorer ventilation and components concentrated in a smaller
space than desktop computers.
The result of the recalls is that NVIDIA will be taking a onetime charge of
$150M USD to $200M USD to cover the damages. It plans to use the money to
repair or replace defective parts. It also hopes to collect part of the
money from insurers it uses. However, it has acknowledged its problems
and switched the materials it uses.
The news has resulted in NVIDIA taking a beating on the stock market, sliding over
quote: AMD decided a while back, after the R600 debacle, to stop building high-end GPUs as a cost-cutting measure and instead address the high end with multi-GPU solutions. They have since started talking about how the era of the large, "monolithic" GPU is over. I think that's hogwash.
quote: 5. characterized by massiveness, total uniformity, rigidity, invulnerability, etc.
quote: Why don't people know the definition of monolithic? From dictionary.com: consisting of one piece; solid or unbroken RV770 is monolithic - it's one piece of silicon. That's all I'm saying.
quote: Diamond “Unlocked” Radeon HD 4870 XOC Black Edition graphics card comes with graphics processing unit clocked at 800MHz and 512MB of GDDR5 memory operating at 4400MHz, up from 750MHz/3600MHz on reference design ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics adapter. Moreover, according to Diamond Multimedia, the firmware of the board was modified and the board can be overclocked even further and can leave behind the current flagship Nvidia, the GeForce GTX 280.“The firmware was custom designed to enable end users to go beyond the normal over clocked speeds and allow them to push their cards for higher performance via the Catalyst Control Center. The GPU’s custom firmware has been unlocked to push cards to GPU settings of up to 950MHz and Memory of up 1200MHz,” said Mr. Gastelum.
quote: I'm not worried though, I am sure Nvidia will bounce back over time. They are a well-organized company that produces solid results.
quote: I think if you buy an expensive graphics solution once technically you can last a really long time than buying a mid range and buying one at ever new generation.
quote: I went from SLI 7800 GTXs to an 8800 GTX SLI
quote: 8800 GTX SLI to the 9800 GX2.
quote: NVIDIA passes the blame to notebook manufacturers, which it says contributes to the problem.
quote: Regarding the notebook field failures, NVIDIA president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang stated:-"Although the failure appears related to the combination of the interaction between the chip material set and system design, we have a responsibility to our customers and will take our part in resolving this problem. The GPU has become an increasingly important part of the computing experience and we are seeing more interest by PC OEMs to adopt GPUs in more platforms. Recognizing that the GPU is one of the most complex processors in the system, it is critical that we now work more closely with notebook system designers and our chip foundries to ensure that the GPU and the system are designed collaboratively for the best performance and robustness "
quote: This has been a challenging experience for us. However, the lessons we've learned will help us build far more robust products in the future, and become a more valuable system design partner to our customers. As for the present, we have switched production to a more robust die/package material set and are working proactively with our OEM partners to develop system management software that will provide better thermal management to the GPU
quote: NVIDIA said that the chips and their packaging were made with materials that proved to be too "weak". NVIDIA passes the blame to notebook manufacturers, which it says contributes to the problem. Typically notebooks have poorer ventilation and components concentrated in a smaller space than
quote: Please, NVIDIA engineers should have had enough sense to:A) Recognize that notebook chipsets and GPU's have to withstand much higher temperature requirements than desktop components.